Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;

But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

Friday, June 23, 2017

Farm House

Hi friends! I finished Farm House this week. What a pretty sampler this is. It is Madeleine's sampler.
Stitched one over one on 25ct cream Dublin linen
I made many color changes. I used DMC and VMSS I used VMSS Antique Var Lilacs for the birds and VMSS 1795 Faded Celery instead of DMC 833. The purple suggested in DMC, 553,  for the flowers was replaced with 3041 because it was nowhere near the cover picture. 543 was replaced with Ecru so it showed up on my linen. The front door to the house has almost a bluish color to it. I replaced 3799, a solid grey with 3768. It compliments the house color nicely now! The roof color suggested, 3787, was so wrong, I replaced it with 317. Finally, I stitched the windowsills up in 738.

As you can see, Madeleine has quite a long name, so I had to take out a few motifs and one bird. I also moved that remaining bird on the left up one. I once again left off some of the small diamond motifs. I like the simplicity of the sampler better this way when it is stitched one over one.

I am now stitching up BBD The Lily of the Valley. This is a class project from a BBD retreat that our friend Catherine has borrowed me. Thanks again Catherine! 😊 It is such a pretty piece. It does not give the DMC conversions, so I had to look those up. I only had two of the WDW flosses. It took me ages to settle on flosses and linen. Only to discover my perfect linen choice was 28ct not the called for 32ct. I just decided to stitch it one over one on the 28ct. Imagine that, huh?! πŸ˜‰ I know. I know. So many of you do NOT prefer one over one, but I DO. What can I say? Right Carol?
I just finished an audio book, Songs of Willow Frost and what a good one it was! This was a new author to me. His name is Jamie Ford. This book intrigued me with the main character, a little Chinese boy who is an orphan in a Catholic orphanage. It was just so different than anything else I had read,so I wanted to read it. And it was different. I am glad I read it. It was good and interesting and I learned too.

Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.

Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.

Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.
On Tuesday all three of the baby robins left the nest. How fun to watch Mom and Dad Robin teach the little ones how to live out in the big world.
Thank you for your kind words my friends. I hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie





Monday, June 19, 2017

Giveaway Winner

Hi friends! I want to announce the winner of my giveaway for the Adam and Eve Reproduction Sampler chart by Robin Laukhuf . Mendy Elliott! I have no way of contacting you Mendy. Please email me with your postal address.

I am stitching away on Farm House. I won't show a picture today as I plan to finish it up soon and show you next time. 😁
The last audio book I just listened to was The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck. This book was recommended by our friend Carol. Oh wow. I truly liked this book. I have never read (or listened) to a book about what  life was like during and after WW II for women. This is a fiction book. My only complaint is the occasional swearing.
Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold
Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.
 Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.
First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.
As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.
Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.
 I hope you have a stitchtastic week my friends! I am so glad you stopped by.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie




Friday, June 16, 2017

Wrapped In Prayers And Love

Hi friends! I want to share with you a most special gift I received several days ago from our friend Barbara. This was a total surprise gift, and surprise me is what she did indeed. Actually I was very honestly stunned. I stood in awe when I opened the pink tissue paper, that Barbara had crocheted this prayer shawl for ME?!?
My pictures do NOT do show the beauty of this shawl. Barbara used a lovely silk/linen gradient yarn of cream to light pink. Ooooh friends! It is just so lovely to wear. When I put it on I feel the love. I truly, truly do.
Go HERE to see Barbara's better pictures of the prayer shawl she made and gave me.❤️ Thank you once again Barbara!

Here is the progress I have made on Farm House.
one over one on 25ct cream Dublin linen
The latest book I finished reading while treadmill walking was A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner. ooOoo! I really liked this book! Have you ever read books about War Brides? This book is about that. Oh how very, very interesting.
Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women—past and present—in the latest novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life.

February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French RΓ©sistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark...

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.
I have a giveaway going on right now. It is for an Adam and Eve Reproduction Sampler. You can enter the giveaway HERE.

If your Dad is still living I hope you are able to be with him for Father's Day this Sunday. I am going to stop by my Dad's grave with some flowers.

Thank you for your words of encouragement! I am so blessed to have friends like YOU! Have a wonderful weekend!

Stitching and praying,
Vickie








Monday, June 12, 2017

Snow Garden Personalized

Hi friends! What a windy, hot, hot weekend. In the 90's. I stayed inside to avoid making my headaches explode.

I finally worked out the personalization for every single sampler block in this AotH series. So I went back to the very first one stitched. Snow Garden. It was never personalized. It has now become Emerson's sampler.
There was a key motif where the "s" and "o" of his name are. I had to unstitch that. I also had to unstitch the eyelet part of the peacock's feather by the "n". And shorten the overall length of the feather by just a bit. Then restitch it all. I think it worked out very well. It is a bit trickier adding the names and dates since I am stitching all over one instead of how it is charted as over two with the personalizations in over one.

I have begun the border on Farm House. That is the first pattern in the second row. You can see part of it showing in the above picture.

Look what came in the mail for me for my birthday all the way from England!
Isn't she precious? I love her. This little girl is a gift from our friend June. Thank you again June.  ❤️
I finished listening to The Red Bandanna: A Life, A Choice, A Legacy by Tom Rinaldi last week. Wow, that was good. I thought I was prepared to go back to September 11th again. I guess not completely.

What would you do in the last hour of your life?


The story of Welles Crowther, whose actions on 9/11 offer a lasting lesson on character, calling and courage

One Sunday morning before church, when Welles Crowther was a young boy, his father gave him a red handkerchief for his back pocket. Welles kept it with him that day, and just about every day to come; it became a fixture and his signature.

A standout athlete growing up in Upper Nyack, NY, Welles was also a volunteer at the local fire department, along with his father. He cherished the necessity and the camaraderie, the meaning of the role. Fresh from college, he took a Wall Street job on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, but the dream of becoming a firefighter with the FDNY remained.

When the Twin Towers fell, Welles’s parents had no idea what happened to him. In the unbearable days that followed, they came to accept that he would never come home. But the mystery of his final hours persisted. Eight months after the attacks, however, Welles’s mother read a news account from several survivors, badly hurt on the 78th floor of the South Tower, who said they and others had been led to safety by a stranger, carrying a woman on his back, down nearly twenty flights of stairs.  After leading them down, the young man turned around.  “I’m going back up,” was all he said.

The survivors didn’t know his name, but despite the smoke and panic, one of them remembered a single detail clearly: the man was wearing a red bandanna.

Tom Rinaldi’s The Red Bandanna is about a fearless choice, about a crucible of terror and the indomitable spirit to answer it. Examining one decision in the gravest situation, it celebrates the difference one life can make.
We have a family of Robins living in the espaliered apple tree in our back yard.  This is a picture from the day they were hatched.
It is going to be hot all week. I guess I will be stitching all week. I hope you have a great week my friends! Thanks for stopping by with your nice comments.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie


Friday, June 9, 2017

Pink Hill Manor

Hi friends! I did it. I worked on Pink Hill Manor all week and finished it. 😊
This entire sampler block is stitched one over one on 25 count cream Dublin linen using DMC. I made substitutions of alternate DMC colors to my liking as I stitched.
As you can see my Manor is a bit different. I like the two sweet doves charted at the bottom very much, but I could not resist adding two poodles.  I had to heighten that central flower on the bottom to accommodate the poodles.
I left off some of the tiny motifs that were charted since this is all stitched one over one on 25 count linen, it really does not need extra "stuff".
You may notice I do not have a name or date on this sampler block. Since this block is already so very, very PINK! I am dedicating this to my favorite things. Pink and poodles.  🐩
I now get to begin the second row! I have pulled the flosses to Farm House, the next pattern in the series. I am not sure who it is getting dedicated to yet. I have a few kinks to work out with some remaining blocks and family members. πŸ˜‰
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Matthew 23:37

I have a giveaway going on right now. It is for an Adam and Eve Reproduction Sampler. You can enter the giveaway HERE.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friends. It is going to be near 100ΒΊ here this weekend, so I am going to be inside stitching. I have been gardening in the evenings this week though after the sun goes down.
Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Monday, June 5, 2017

πŸŽ‚

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Mine was great! I had chocolate birthday cake AND strawberry cheesecake yesterday at my mom's.πŸŽ‚ 😊Tomorrow I turn 48!

I would like to offer this large Adam and Eve Reproduction Sampler chart by Robin Laukhuf as a giveaway for all of my follower friends.
This is a chart that is ripped out of an old Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine. I will be folding the four pages so they fit into a business size envelope to save on postage. You must be a follower of mine and you must leave a comment on this post telling me you want to be entered into the giveaway. This giveaway is open to any one of my followers anywhere. I will draw the name of the winner on June 19th.
Agent M: The Lives and Spies of M15's Maxwell Knight by Henry Hemming is the book I finished last week.  It was not what I expected. While I found his life story interesting, I was hoping for more stories of the spies and their missions. I am not going to lie. I ended up skimming a lot of the information after I got halfway through reading the book.

Maxwell Knight was a paradox. A jazz obsessive and nature enthusiast (he is the author of the definitive work on how to look after a gorilla), he is seen today as one of MI5's greatest spymasters, a man who did more than any other to break up British fascism during the Second World War -- in spite of having once belonged to the British Fascisti himself. He was known to his agents and colleagues simply as M, and is rumored to be the inspiration for the character in the James Bond series.

Knight became a legendary spymaster despite an almost total lack of qualifications. What set him apart from his peers was a mercurial ability to transform almost anyone into a fearless secret agent. He was the first in MI5 to grasp the potential of training female agents.

Agent M is about more than just one man however. In its pages, Hemming will reveal for the first time in print the names and stories of some of the men and women recruited by Knight, on behalf of MI5, and then asked to infiltrate the most dangerous political organizations in Britain at that time. Until now, their identities have been kept secret outside MI5. Drawn from every walk of life, they led double lives -- often at great personal cost -- in order to protect the country they loved. With the publication of this book, it will be possible at last to celebrate the lives of these courageous and selfless individuals.

Drawing on declassified documents, private family archives, and original interviews, Agent M reveals not just the shadowy world of espionage but a brilliant, enigmatic man at its shadowy center.
When ALL hormonal headaches have past and are out of me, my headaches go way down. THEN on those days I am able to go out into the garden in the evenings.
I will have an updated Pink Hill Manor picture for you next time. I am trying to finish it. I am sure I will since I will be inside this week. It is hot and sunny here lately, so I must hide inside to avoid headaches.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends. Thank you for stopping by!

Stitching and praying,
Vickie





Monday, May 29, 2017

Pink Hill Manor

Hi friends! I was stitching along on my lovely Pink Hill Manor and my eye caught something it did not before. WHAT?!? Why do the last two flowers in the border have a brighter pink in them than the rest of them?!
 It is impossible to tell from the above picture, but trust me, the 224 was NOT the 224. I even asked Brian and Madeleine to be sure. So I ripped out the offending floss and stitched in 224. Much better. I will show you an updated picture next time.

I forgot to mention on my last post that I had written down and saved three corrections to the floral border that I had come across. I wish I could recall where I came across this information. I cannot. If you want the pattern corrections, I am more than willing to share these with you, just send me an email. The corrections are all made here:
The latest book I have read is The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis.  Was it a good book? Yes. Have I ever read a bad book by Beverly? No. And I have read every single one of her novels.😁

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter's nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her.

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he's learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she's never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish.

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie's realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?
I have learned Botox does NOT make me invincible to the sun.😒 I did get some gardening done this weekend. I cannot get gardening done in ANY kind of sun. I have to stick to really early morning hours, early in the evening hours, or if I want to risk it, work in the garden on a very cloudy day. Usually when it is cold and yucky and no one else wants to be out in the garden. I love gardening. Or at least I used to. When I could.

Thank you for stopping by today my friends. I appreciate your comments and most of all your friendship.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie

Friday, May 26, 2017

Pink Hill Manor

Hi friends! How are you? I hope things are going well for you and the weather is great where you are. I know some of you do not have things too great right now, and I am praying for you dear friends. If you need me to pray for you, just email me.πŸ’•

Thank you for all of your wonderfully encouraging comments you left me last time. You really know how to make a stitcher feel good!πŸ˜‰ I have been stitching on Pink Hill Manor by Blackbird Designs, the next pattern in the AotH series. There was a slight delay in my start because wow, the DMC colors they recommend do NOT come close to matching the picture on the pattern front. Why do I continue to be surprised by this?! I don't know! DUH! So I went through that painful process of pulling many, many flosses and making decisions and combinations and new decisions, but I do believe I have it all figured out to my liking now.
One over one on 25ct Cream Edinburgh linen
The two pink flosses shown are the two I used to make up the flowers in the borders. I just did my own thing with those flowers. Each flower contains both colors. Every other flower alternates which pink dominates it, if you know what I mean?

Here is the whole sampler thus far:
Have to use pink scissors with pink scissors fob on Pink Hill Manor!!
I had only two stitchers enter my giveaway for the cross stitch pattern Be The Brightest by Isabella Abiati of the Primitive Hare. The winner is 🐩 Varla 🐩

The Botox injections kicked in and are helping with the daily chronic tension/migraine headaches. Those are very reduced. This is great news. I will get another round of Botox injections in less than three months then. There is hope that the Botox injections can actually cure my headaches. AS IN TAKE THEM AWAY FOREVER! Oh please God, let it be so. The not so great news is that the Botox does not work on my menstrual migraines. Those are severe and usually last at least 5 days. I know from speaking with several of you, that many of you know about this first hand. It stinks real bad!! I have Relpax to get me through these times. It doesn't work that great, but it is better than nothing of course. Until I go "through my change" I think I will be stuck with these awful menstrual migraines for years. That is what I am reading and that is what you all are telling me. Oh boy.😞

I hope you have a wonderful weekend whatever you are doing my friends. Hug the ones you love. Say I love you today!

Stitching and praying,
Vickie